A new year, a new way to get yourself financially secure for a brighter future! It’s not always easy getting back on track after the holidays are over but we’ve got a few expert tips to help guide you on your way to a more financially secure 2015!
Keep it in check
Start by sitting down and going through your budget (and for those of you who don’t have a budget, what are you doing? Hurry up and get a budget already!). You need to analyze your spending, what worked and what didn’t in the previous year. Check for areas where you spent more in than your normally did or less than you had planned. Using this information, you can build a better, more accurate budget for the new year.
Set those goals
What are you trying to accomplish in 2015? Does that require money? Probably. So start setting goals to hit every month to reach your long-term goal. Setting up a separate savings account is a great way to measure and keep track of what you’re saving. Make sure you’re transferring money into the account every month so you’re seeing progress and don’t touch it unless absolutely necessary!
Sell the clutter
Don’t hold on to things you don’t need, get rid of what’s clearly garbage and sell the rest! This way you’re decluttering your home and making a little cash on the side. This money can go right into your savings account to be used for what you truly need it for.
Google is your friend
The age of blindly buying things at face value is over. Google everything you want to purchase, especially if it’s over $50. Check and see that you’re getting the very best deals on the things you want. Don’t get dazzled into spending more than you have to!
Cut back on the extras
Do you really need a monthly subscription to Pandora or Spotify? You’ll survive the commercials, the free version will do just fine. If you have a gym membership and aren’t going at least 3 times a week, is it really worth it to keep paying that much a month? Start tallying up your expenses each month and keep track via Mint or another finance app to really see where you’re spending your hard earned cash.
Some people call it the “Orphan Thanksgiving” which is so depressing! Friendsgiving is an age-old tradition that has been highlighted a lot in recent years. Because of jobs and other reasons to move far from home, a lot of people are separated from their families. Friendsgiving can be celebrated a few days before or after Thanksgiving, and is a special time for you and your buddies to eat together and give thanks to your wonderful, weird friendship. We’ve got some tips for you to help make this year’s Friendsgiving the best one yet….at least until next year’s
First things first, is to make sure you send out invitations ahead of time, whether its the traditional way or through a group chat on iMessage or Facebook. Make sure you have a solid headcount, before you start planning. Don’t be disappointed if not everyone can go! You all have busy lives and other obligations, just focus on those that can be there for this occasion.
As a part of the planning process, priority number 1 is making sure there is plenty of seating available for your guests and not only that but eating areas. Depending on how many people come, plus how big or small your place is, you may need to add some chairs, ottomans and tables to create space without being too cluttered and feeling too tight.
Make sure you know your audience when it comes to alcohol! Most people assume wine is the drink of choice, but it’s always good to have beer and hard cider on hand for those that prefer some hops Always have non-alcoholic beverages available as well! A serving table or wine rack will work nicely, so keep it out in the open and readily available for guests to grab when they want!
Go light on decor! These are your friends that have seen you do stupid, silly and weird things. They love you and you love them, so there’s no need to have gourds and pumpkins and pilgrim hats everywhere. They’re coming for sustenance, good company and great conversation!
Don’t go cheap on dishware though…paper plates and red party cups aren’t allowed at Friendsgiving. Bring out some nice china, it doesn’t have to match at all! Just give your friends the benefit of nice meal on non-paper and plastic utensils. We’ve actually got something called Ginori, which is some amazing Italian dinnerware that we bought. It’s actually 25% off in stores right now! So hurry up and grab some before your dinners!
Another piece of advice is to accept help whenever it’s offered. Don’t think that just because it’s your place you have to do every single thing. Let your friends help you with the cleaning up and putting dishes away, it’s just their way of giving thanks to you for hosting a wonderful meal
One last thing…don’t over plan! This is a fun thing to do with your friends and let them know they’re your second family. And that’s just as important, during this season, as spending time with your first family!
Like winter, Black Friday is coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it! Amazing deals, long lines and doorbusters are on the agenda. Feeling unprepared? We’re here to help with our Black Friday Survival Tips.
Check Your Bag
Leave the giant purse at home! Opt instead for a small purse or cross-body bag that will free up your hands for grabbing all those great deals. You don’t want anything unnecessary weighing you down.
If you want to make sure you’re getting the best deals, planning is key. Study all the ads before heading out so you know exactly which deals you want to snatch up. We’ve got something cool called Easy Pass, where you basically take your online shopping cart and make it come to life for you in-store! Pick out what you want online and store associates can help you try it out!
Bring a Buddy
Shopping is always better with a friend. Black Friday is no exception. You’re going to need some backup. There will be a lot of waiting around so having one (or more) friends with you is sure to make the time pass more quickly. Friends can also help you divide and conquer for the best sales.
Pick the Right Footwear
It’s always nice to look your best, but for Black Friday comfortable shoes are a must. You’ll be on your feet a long time in various types of weather and temperatures so make sure you build your ensemble around your comfiest shoes.
Pack a Snack
Black Friday shopping is a marathon, not a sprint. Make sure you’ve got some healthy snacks and small bottles of water to stay on top of your game as the early morning goes into late afternoon. A morning boost of coffee or green tea is also a must-have for that all important pick-me-up to keep you alert and ahead of the competition.
All the crowds and commotion can cause a lot of stress. Remember to stay friendly and not take your shopping TOO seriously. If everyone remembers to be kind and courteous, the day can stay fun for all.
Make sure you charge your cellphone before heading out. For the more aggressive shopper, get a portable charger to carry around with you. You don’t want to find yourself stranded or separated from your group.
If you play your cards right, you’re gonna end up with an impressive haul of great deals. That vacuum cleaner that’s been in your trunk since May, clear it out! Make the time now to clean out your car and trunk so you have enough room to store all those amazing steals!